HOW WRIKE LEVELED UP
Onboarding, ‘Ride Alongs’ and Video Coaching:
WITH TECHNOLOGY AND DATA
WAY S T O
SPEED UP SALES
With Tactile Medical’s Lisa Mauri Thomas
HOW A 4 FACTORS DATA-DRIVEN THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE APPROACH
3 WAYS TO
PLAN FOR A NEW REDUCING PRODUCT LAUNCH
CAN TRANSFORM SALES READINESS
HIDDEN CO$TS OF IS YOUR SALES SALES TRAINING PLAN TRAINING
ENABLING REMOTE WORKERS:
5 THOUGHTS FOR SALES READINESS IIssssuuee NNoo. . 65 | | SFa P Rl lI N G1 29 0 2 0 20
Editor-in-Chief Lauren Boutwell
Art Direction Corey Robinson
Publisher Brainshark® Inc. 130 Turner Street Waltham, MA 02453
Printer Print Resource 1500 West Park Drive Suite 160 Westborough, MA 01581
Leadership Team Greg Flynn
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Product Officer
VP of Marketing
Chief Financial Officer
VP of Talent & Culture
Chief Technology Officer
EVP of Product & Strategy
VP of Customer Care
Chief Sales Officer
VP of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships
Sales Enablement Magazine, Established 2017, Brainshark Inc.
FROM THE CEO
The Role of Sales Readiness When Unforeseen Circumstances Affect Business The COVID-19 health crisis has thrown us all
Reliance on sales readiness
into an unprecedented situation. While the
technology: we use our own platform to
health and safety of all employees is paramount,
ensure that sales training and coaching
companies have also been reimagining customer
can continue uninterrupted, reps are
engagement and how they can better prepare and
message-ready with the latest information
equip their workers for unexpected changes to
and important sales meetings or events
are conducted virtually; we can also quickly spin out video-based content to
As soon as the Coronavirus situation took hold, the jobs of sales reps immediately changed. Quarterly goals, quotas and other performance
communicate urgent updates •
have daily or weekly stand-up meetings
numbers suddenly became uncertain and
so teams can connect, share what they’re
many reps were relegated to a remote work FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @Greg_Flynn
working on and strategize about the latest
arrangement, making it more difficult to have face-to-face meetings and other interactions critical to the sales process.
Stand-up meetings: many of our teams
Leader and manager communications: we ensure that our leaders and managers
As a result, the roles of sales enablement and readiness professionals took on new challenges. They were faced with preparing reps for this unchartered territory and keeping them on track
are staying in touch with teams and the company as a whole; we often send out Brainshark presentations via video or PowerPoint with voiceover
as much as possible. With the help of technology and some creative thinking, many companies have been able to pivot quickly, embrace remote work and come up with new sales strategies for as long as they are needed.
Sales enablement and readiness have never been more important than in these unprecedented times. The companies that will make the most of these tough situations are the ones that will
For more than 20 years, we have been helping companies train and prepare remote teams. At Brainshark, we’ve seen the following tactics
forget the status quo and embrace new methods to keep their employees safe and their sales engine humming.
work well: •
Staying connected online: we have Slack
and Skype for Business so teams can stay in touch and communicate in group chats; for calls, we encourage everyone to turn on their webcams via Zoom video conferencing
August 17-18, 2020 | Encore Boston Harbor
The definitive event for sales readiness and enablement professionals.
HOT TOPICS: • Accelerating sales
• Elevating approaches to sales
onboarding and ramp-up
training, coaching and content
• Activating data-driven
• Harnessing new technologies
readiness and enablement
to achieve better results
Learn More at: ready.brainshark.com
Featured keynote speaker: Ken Jennings, Greatest Jeopardy! Player of All Time
Statement Regarding COVID-19 The health and safety of our staff, clients and attendees is our top priority. If cancellation or postponement is
6 informed immediately. Check the READY20 website for the latest updates. necessary, attendees and sponsors will be
CONTENTS ON THE COVER How Wrike Leveled Up Sales Readiness with Technology and Data
FROM THE CEO The Role of Sales Readiness When Unforeseen Circumstances Affect Business
THE BUZZ 3 Ways Sales Enablement Can Connect with Reps
4 Sales Training Ideas to Increase Team Readiness
SALES ENABLEMENT VOICES How a Data-Driven Approach Can (and Will) Transform Sales Readiness
FEATURES 4 Ways to Speed Up Your Sales Onboarding
How to Reduce the Hidden Costs of Sales Training
Enabling Remote Workers: 5 Thoughts for Sales Readiness
SEEN & HEARD Interview Questions to Ask Your Sales Enablement Next Hire
16 14 5
en v i r -D a t a D e t a h t i w Activ ss e n i d a e R s s Sale d r a ec r o c S k r a h d s g an w n n i i h o c coa ps h , e e Bra r v g o s Impr showin o peer ge g-ed team n i t t cu les Gain y into sa ors vi ilit visib es, beha iti ty activ oductivi pr and
by up t 1-1s easure me ti m they nd over sa goal
Learn more: brainshark.com/solutions/scorecards
rs, selle e t a iv Mot alize rive on pers g and d in learn results er bett
THE BUZZ WAYS
Sales Enablement Can
CONNECT WITH REPS
Understand their challenges
Understand ‘what’s in it for them’
Understand what motivates them
Shadow reps to see how they interact with clients and handle deals, join sales meetings and survey sales reps for feedback on your enablement programs.
Make sure you tie your enablement activities to what reps care about the most: achieving quota. Top performers can help you by sharing how sales enablement resources have helped them win deals.
Join reps on the road, at a client dinner, or mingle with them at a company outing or charity event; these situations give you a chance to connect with sellers on a more human level.
Create a series of microlearning courses that cover the key activities reps need to complete at each stage of the sales process, and guidelines for how those activities should be completed.
SALES TRAINING IDEAS TO INCREASE
Sales process deep dive
Pre-call research Outline how and where to find news articles, press releases, and other publicly available information about reps’ target accounts or buyers. Reinforce it by asking reps to explain how they’ll use research in an upcoming sales interaction.
Leverage win/loss reports Make win/loss reports available as just-in-time learning to increase knowledge sharing across the sales team and tie takeaways from each report to positive or negative sales outcomes.
Asking for the sale Build training with examples of good closing questions and have reps practice them to increase confidence. Pair less experienced salespeople with a more tenured “mentor,” who can provide feedback on reps’ ability to close.
Data-Driven A Transform Sale Sales enablement teams have so many different priorities. How does data fit into their mission? AL: At the end of the day, sales enablement’s goal is to improve sales performance. They’re asking: how effective can our sales team be? How effective can we be at training and coaching the sales team? That means enabling sales managers and reps, but it also means helping the sales enablement team improve what they do every day. Data is so important because you need to understand everything that’s going on with a sales rep when they’re interacting with buyers. But the data you need to paint a clear picture of rep performance resides in many different systems. Sales training is clearly important, but a sales enablement manager who only looks at whether reps are completing training courses is not really paying attention to the thing they’re really trying to improve – which is the performance of the sales rep. What they need is a holistic view of the rep with data that helps them understand the effectiveness of their readiness programs. With
Q&A with Alex Laats
onboarding, for example, you want to use
EVP of Product & Strategy, Brainshark
product launch, are my account managers
data to answer, how quickly and effectively am I ramping sales hires? Or with a new effectively selling that new product?
What is data-driven sales readiness? And why does it matter? AL: Data-driven readiness centers around a feedback loop between the sales manager and the sales enablement leader.
SALES ENABLEMENT VOICES
Approach Can (and Will) es Readiness For sales enablement leaders, rep performance data informs
How can sales managers take a data-driven approach to improve rep performance?
what materials they need to create and prioritize. It also allows them to assess whether training courses are effective, because they can see the impact of those programs in the field. As a result, sales enablement can better answer the question, ‘are
AL: Sales managers often view data within dashboards or across
our reps ready?’ and improve content, training and coaching.
multiple spreadsheets, but what both of those methods lack is context around the data. Sales rep scorecards, now part of the
For sales managers, that same data allows them to see what’s
Brainshark sales readiness platform, provide that context to
working and what’s not and motivate reps to participate in
power a data-driven approach to sales readiness and improve
related training and coaching activities by showing them
sales coaching and 1-1 meetings between reps and managers:
their gaps. They’re asking and answering, is it working? Are we generating the desired results? If the answer is no, they need to address those gaps and ensure reps are ready.
The combination of ‘are they ready?’ and ‘is it working?’ is a wonderful shorthand for what data-driven readiness is all about.
What are the most important types of data for understanding rep performance?
Rep performance relative to their peers: This may involve how one enterprise account executive compares to everyone else on his or her team in terms of pipeline or activity. For example, you could compare reps who were part of the same sales onboarding class or view that class’s performance against a previous onboarding class.
2. Rep performance vs. sales goals: Whether it’s quota, opportunities, pipeline, or activity, being able to show how a rep is performing relative to those goals and making that available in a 1-1 meeting is really important. For a lot of companies, the data for these goals often resides somewhere else, like the CRM, a financial system, or a spreadsheet.
AL: You need all the data that relates to a sales rep. Some of it is what training courses they’re taking, but there are also activity metrics that live in the CRM, such as pipeline, opportunities, and stage conversion information. You also may have data from coaching technology or conversational intelligence tools.
Data that impacts a sales rep could even live in a marketing
Rep performance over time: You might want to see how new sales hires perform during different phases and milestones of the onboarding program – in their first week,
automation system. Lead generation data, such as inbound
from Day 1 to Day 30, from Day 30 to Day 60, and so on.
leads, can show how many leads are being received, how quickly we’re responding and whether leads are
Ultimately, scorecards allow sales managers to see what’s
converting. If leads are not converting, maybe there’s
working and what’s not, identify gaps, and convey those
something missing when reps respond to inbound leads.
gaps back to the sales enablement team – who then works to address those areas with learning and coaching programs. The result is that a sales manager views sales enablement as a critical problem-solver and driver of sales performance.
How Wrike Leveled Up Sales Readiness with Technology and Data By Lauren Boutwell Photography By Amina Touray
When Kara Underwood joined Wrike to lead global employee and partner enablement, the collaborative work management software company was in need of a new, easier way to roll out onboarding and other readiness programs to its rapidly expanding team.
With Wrike growing globally, creating
enablement team can regularly gather
a consistent onboarding experience
best practices from and vet content and
for salespeople in all regions was one
enablement deliverables with is critical to
of Underwood’s most urgent priorities.
success of a sales enablement program.”
Since the company was adding 10-25 new sales colleagues per month, she
Along with developing a business plan
needed to act quickly.
and agreeing on goals and metrics with executives, another important task was to
Revamping sales enablement programs
find a sales readiness platform that would
is a challenge for any leader coming
support onboarding, certifications and
into a new role at a new company. But
other enablement programs for Wrike’s
Underwood had been in this position
salespeople and partners.
before, having held many sales training and enablement roles at technology
“We needed something that was easy
companies since 1998. One of her keys
to implement and scale, with good
for success involves having a plan for
data integrity and reporting, where we
her first 100 days, which she treats like a
could scale out content across multiple
discovery process with a new client.
audiences,” said Underwood.
“You should really understand [your new organization’s] challenges,
at a new company,” she said.
Making the Business Case for Sales Readiness Technology
“Make sure you’re tailoring whatever
When it came to onboarding, part of
you’re building appropriately and that
Underwood’s approach was to give reps a
you’re checking with your internal
single source of truth from day one.
needs, inhibitors and best practices, of developing sales enablement
client on an ongoing basis to ensure its relevant and on-target with their needs.
“What I’ve seen work is putting fact-
Introducing a sales task force made up of
based content around sales process,
high performing colleagues from varying
sales tools and [the company’s product
sales roles and geographies that the sales
offering] into eLearning courses, videos
or documentation where people can get
and get reps up to speed
that content from day one. Committing to
quickly. She highlighted
maintaining that content on an ongoing
the value of having the
basis is important because it is volatile and
functionality of both a
there are constant changes,” she said.
learning management system (LMS) and a video coaching
All she needed was a platform that could
tool in a single platform,
make that possible. She was already very
which would eliminate the need to toggle
familiar with the sales enablement and
between multiple systems and sift through
readiness technology landscape and had
data in different reports.
experience using one particular platform at the previous companies she’d worked for. That platform was Brainshark, which Underwood has gone back to time and
Role-Based Onboarding and Certifications
time again. At a former company, she referred to Brainshark as a critical part of
Once Underwood got the sign-off to bring
her enablement strategy and the driving
Brainshark to Wrike, she began to put all
force behind cutting new reps’ time to
aspects of her sales readiness strategy
productivity in half.
into motion. She designed onboarding curriculums by
But even though
sales role (sales
confidence that Brainshark would be a fit for Wrike, she still had to sell the platform internally and get buy-in from the C-level. She put together a business case showing that Wrike’s existing solution for sales training resulted in inconsistent readiness, too many support tickets, productivity loss for
“If you want to see behavior change and you want people to learn, you need a multi-faceted approach. That’s where a solution like Brainshark is critical.”
her team members
sales engineers, account executives, account managers, sales leaders, channel sales, etc.). When new hires arrive on their first day, they experience a multi-pronged training approach that helps them learn and apply knowledge in multiple ways and see a roadmap for what they need to learn and when.
and unreliable data. For example, new hires might watch Then she demonstrated how the ease of
a training course on facilitating a first
use of the Brainshark platform would help
meeting and product demo, then apply
Wrike save time, increase productivity
that knowledge in a video coaching
activity, which is then reviewed by a sales manager or sales enablement team member. From there, the sales colleagues would bring that knowledge full circle at an in-person onboarding workshop and during shadowing activities with veteran salespeople. Finally, the new reps would complete a certification indicating their readiness to start selling. “The certification process is a requirement for all sales roles. Brainshark is helping to manage that process and track it,” explained Underwood. Brainshark also enables the Wrike Sales Enablement team to easily create new content and upload existing assets for onboarding curriculums. When content changes, it’s simple for them to update it quickly. “It’s very easy to maintain content with Brainshark and leverage it for other audiences,” she said. “Other tools don’t make content maintenance easy. I’ve always found if it’s too hard to update the content, it just doesn’t get done. Most sales content is volatile and can be out-of-date within 3-6 months.” Underwood and her team can now keep ramp times on track by monitoring reps’ progress and certifying them before they go out into the field. And because sales onboarding has run so smoothly with Brainshark, Wrike also uses the platform to onboard other new employees and partners.
“Brainshark is helping us deploy this level of
delivering a new demo
volume – it’s hard to manage all of those role-
for a new persona. To
based curriculums for employees and partners.
prepare the reps, the sales
The system allows us to do that with its
enablement team assigned
flexibility. And our rigorous certifications need
pre-work, including courses
good reporting, which we’re able to do without
regarding, ‘how to tailor
a lot of manual processes.”
your approach to specific
Sales Readiness at Wrike Role-based onboarding
Video coaching activities
Sales kickoff pre-work and activities
personas’ and ‘how to demo
Helping Reps ‘Wrise Up’ Through Readiness Previously, Wrike had a lot of product training content for salespeople, but not a lot of courses regarding selling and positioning the value of the solution. With Brainshark, the sales enablement team can quickly create or bring in existing content and design learning paths that cover a lot more ground. Having all that content has been helpful for reps, but Underwood said the key to readiness is ensuring that reps are learning, practicing skills and earning certifications on an ongoing basis, especially after onboarding ends. “You’re only going to get to a certain level of knowledge and productivity with new hires,” she added. “You’ve got to look at how to take it to the next level, keep people up-to-date and continue to invest in them.” Underwood has extended her multi-pronged approach to ongoing training. Activities like mentoring from tenured reps and sharing success stories and lessons learned are now paired with eLearning and coaching activities in Brainshark to keep reps’ skills and knowledge sharp. And when the company gets together
effectively’ and resources such as a pitch deck. “Brainshark gave us an opportunity to better use our in-person time at kickoff, by having people go through the material first before they got there, which allowed for more time for interactive discussion, exercises and celebrating success,” Underwood said. Onsite at kickoff, all sales roles had other activities to complete through Brainshark’s coaching tool to test their readiness. For example, sales development reps (SDRs) were asked to upload a prospecting email and account executives composed a deal strategy example based on Wrike’s Value Selling methodology, as well as a competitive value-based analysis and a time-based incentive letter, so managers could evaluate the responses and provide feedback.
The theme for the company’s most recent SKO was ‘Wrise Up,’ and the event had no shortage of readiness activities to help reps be at their best in 2020. Salespeople were tasked with
program, you’re going to get better productivity, a better end-user experience, better reporting and a better customer service experience with Brainshark. There’s a marketable difference.” She said it’s important to be able to execute on her learning philosophy, but that method must also match up with the needs of modern sales teams today – which often means multiple sales roles,
Technology + Leadership = Readiness Success
for milestone events such as sales kickoff, it’s a chance to see all of that knowledge in action.
holistically at all the aspects of an enablement
Throughout the year, Underwood said sales readiness technology and reliable data help to strengthen her enablement programs and ability to be an effective leader. “At the end of the day, when you look
across multiple locations, and enablement programs that need to be tailored to each role’s key skills and goals. “If you want to see behavior change and you want people to learn, you need a multifaceted approach. That’s where a solution like Brainshark is critical.”
4 Ways to Speed Up Your Sales Onboarding
When onboarding is fast and effective, it can reduce ramp times by 3.4 months and improve quota attainment by 7% – making speed an especially critical part of your new hire training approach.
1. Start onboarding sooner Traditionally, onboarding begins on the new hire’s first official day with the company. A speedier onboarding strategy would include “pre-
It’s sales enablement’s job to not only design an onboarding program that delivers the right skills and knowledge, but to make it an efficient process that decreases time to productivity and gives you the best chance at achieving sales goals. Check out 4 helpful tactics for accelerating sales onboarding in any organization.
boarding,” which gets sales learning started before Day 1, giving reps a chance to hit the ground running during that critical first week. Pre-boarding can be as simple as creating a short training course that gives reps a high-level overview of company products and solutions, value proposition, target industries and buyer personas. The key here is to make this learning package available as soon as a new seller’s paperwork clears.
2. Make microlearning a priority
your organization well and have
Using a sales readiness platform,
already spent months (or years)
sales enablement teams can leverage
selling in your target markets.
onboarding data in a few ways:
In-person bootcamps, which are a common onboarding tactic, hit
Try pairing new hires with high-
1. See which training courses are
reps with a ton of new information
performers and create a checklist of
being viewed, and for how long, to
at once – information they often
learning activities for each duo. The
better understand what content is
forget once they start selling. Long,
mentees might observe three of the
(or isn’t) resonating with new reps.
live training sessions can also
tenured rep’s calls in their first 30
require major resources, like travel
days. In turn, the mentor can lead a
2. Track the learning progress of
expenses and time commitments
“pre-brief ” and “debrief ” explaining
individuals and teams, ensuring
from subject matter experts.
how they approach each call and
sales hires complete required
their thought process behind it.
courses and assessments on time – and that managers are
Microlearning courses improve knowledge retention by delivering
If you’re onboarding reps in a large or
new information in a series of
dispersed organization, you can also
“bite-sized” chunks, such as short
use a video coaching tool to capture
3. Better understand whether sellers
videos, animated presentations, and
best practices from the A-players on
have mastered onboarding material
infographics. This makes the learning
each team. Top reps can record short,
using video coaching, whereby they
more consumable (and retainable).
informal videos describing something
“stand and deliver” what they’ve
as simple as an effective cold-calling
learned and submit a recording for
Sales readiness technology allows
strategy or how they won their biggest
scoring and feedback. If reps are
sellers to easily access microlearning
deal. The best examples often make great
consistently struggling with certain
content on the go and progress
additions to formal training content!
skills (e.g. objection-handling),
holding each accountable.
through onboarding at their own
teams can review and re-calibrate
pace. Video-based courses can be
related training as needed.
further enhanced with attachments, links, and interactive quizzes. This
4. Generate scorecards to gain
makes learning on the job easy and
greater visibility into the sales
flexible, whether reps are traveling,
activities of new hires both
at home, or visiting a client.
during and after onboarding.
4. Gain insight into your onboarding process
This makes it easier to identify performance challenges that need to be readdressed with
3. Shadow A-players
Time to productivity is an important
additional training, while
measure of sales onboarding success,
providing insight into how new
but it’s also a lagging indicator. Knowing
rep output is measuring up with
whether your program is working
that of others on their teams.
right now will help you course-correct sooner – and avoid waiting months to
Peers can be priceless resources
realize that new reps are struggling.
for new salespeople. They know
How to Reduce the Hidden Co$ts of Sales Training If your sales training is built
organization might pay to fly
around a set of sporadic boot
reps into HQ, book hotel rooms,
camps, the reality is that reps
cater meals, and book valuable
won’t retain most of that
time with subject matter experts
information. That’s because in-
for each session – a shaky
person sessions often hit reps
investment if sellers forget most
with a lot of new information at
of what was discussed.
once, which can cause cognitive backlog (which means learning
However, the wrong approach
effectively goes “in one ear and
can also incur some not-so-
out the other”).
obvious costs. Here are 3 hidden training expenses and how sales
There are clear costs associated
readiness technology can help
with on-site training. An
you reduce them. 16
$ $$ $ $ $$ $
Hidden Cost #1: Sales Rep Turnover
For many companies, sales onboarding is ineffective, too slow,
or both. But for new sales hires to be successful, they need to be trained quickly and armed with the skills and knowledge that
will help them start closing deals as fast as possible. The more
If the answer is ‘no,’ you risk assuming sellers are ready to engage
successful a rep is, the more likely they are to enjoy a long and
buyers when they really aren’t. This can lead to trial-and-error
fruitful tenure at your company.
learning for unprepared reps, who end up “practicing” in front of buyers, which can damage your brand’s reputation.
But training goes beyond new hire onboarding. Sellers who are in Year 2 or 3 in the organization also need development – and
Sales readiness technology enables companies to hold reps
without it, they’re at greater risk to leave for another company.
accountable for what they’ve learned and move beyond simply checking for course completion. You can track individual and
Companies can use sales readiness technology to streamline the
team learning progress and measure sales readiness through
onboarding process. These tools allow you to quickly create new
certifications, which require reps to “stand and deliver” what
content, enhance it with quizzes and attachments, and make
they’ve learned in training.
updates as needed. Content can then be organized into formal learning paths that are tailored by role or onboarding stage. The bottom line: you can create, deliver and track all onboarding process and start selling as soon as possible.
Hidden Cost #3: Missed Opportunities
Sales training tools also make it easy to proactively “push” bite-
To get better performance from the B- and C-players in your
sized eLearning courses to reps on a consistent basis, which helps
organization, use sales readiness technology to 1) address sales
to combat turnover of second- and third-year reps and gives them
skills gaps and 2) call attention to reps who are struggling.
activities faster – which will allow reps to move through the
a pathway to career growth in your organization. (An inside sales rep, for instance, might want to learn skills that prepare them for a
Technology makes this possible by providing sellers with a single
place to access learning content and earn certifications in key skills, whether they’re at home, in the office, or in the field. This ensures that everyone, including dispersed or remote team
Hidden Cost #2: Brand Reputation
members, is equipped with the resources needed to improve. Managers can also view reps’ learning progress, making it easy to identify which ones are on top of their training and which may
You probably know when someone views and completes a
be falling behind. For those who need more help, managers can
required learning course. In fact, many companies primarily rely
send out microlearning content and assessments to reinforce the
on this “check-the-box” approach to sales training. But do you
original training material and get them back on track with the
know whether reps can actually use what they’ve learned?
Enabling Remote Workers: 5 Thoughts for Sales Readiness As we all know by now, this is unlikely to be a
Most companies are quickly exploring how best
typical start to the year for businesses.
to do just that, and that certainly includes sales organizations.
With concerns over travel now heightened, annual activities like sales events and industry
The first priority, of course, is to do what it takes
conferences are quickly becoming grounded,
to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
and many businesses are faced with the reality of
For many businesses, this has already led to
supporting a primarily remote workforce.
restrictions on travel (at the very least). After that, the question becomes how to maintain
Gartner stated “remote work is suddenly a
continuity from a sales perspective. Doing that
new choice for many employees — and an
likely means putting strategies and infrastructure
overnight requirement for some,” adding that
in place to ensure sales teams remain effectively
“few organizations feel prepared for large-scale
prepared and enabled without disruptions –
remote work, but you can take steps to make the
which, honestly, can take time. But as Gartner
experience productive for both employees and
noted, there are steps that can be taken to
maintain that continuity.
When it comes to sales readiness specifically, here are 5 ideas to be considering right now. #1. Take sales onboarding online Naturally, most companies prefer that new hires walk through the door on Day 1... by walking through the door on Day 1.
Even out-of-state workers will typically
If you’re concerned about how to
fly in to HQ for their first week on the job
develop the content to support an
and show up for group training sessions.
‘on-demand’ program, don’t be.
If your company typically holds in-
In-person training sessions can be
person bootcamps for new sales classes,
repurposed pretty easily these days
it likely makes sense to start exploring
into on-demand assets, complete with
a fully virtual onboarding model.
webcam videos, slides, interactive
quizzes and more. Making that content
will be the primary communication
available as virtual, trackable learning
source for remote employees.
courses can even increase engagement with (and retention of ) new material.
#2. Standardize communications to keep everyone in the loop When no one can be at the same place at the same time, effective communication becomes more critical than ever. There’s already a lot sales teams need to be kept up-to-speed on – product updates, competitive news, process changes, and so on. As the news around COVID-19 continues to evolve, updates from HR and executive leadership on travel and work policies will need to be seen by everyone as well. One suggestion is to centralize where those communications come from. Email alone is probably not the answer. Collaboration platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams are already prevalent at many companies. Think about creating chat groups for your entire sales organization and individual teams within. (This could also include customer success and other client-facing teams.) These threads can centralize the sharing of important information from sales enablement and sales leadership. It also gives team members the opportunity to comment, ask questions and learn from each other, without those conversations taking place in dozens of separate silos. Keep in mind that this may require a behavior change for reps who are new to these types of tools. In that case, to
#3. Utilize video as part of your communications
Will there be pre-work and post-work that reps can complete online?
Will we need to facilitate live Q&As for team members, and if so how?
How should we communicate the “new” SKO format so everyone knows what to expect?
Will we be able to incorporate thirdparty speakers or customers?
Another challenge with supporting remote workers is ensuring everyone feels unified and part of the team. (Home offices can get lonely.) Video conferencing tools for live meetings
These are just a few examples. One
offer one solution for bringing people
silver lining here is that if the event
together, but most communications
is held virtually, it will make it easier
happen outside of these meetings.
for reps to access and refer back to the content later, as all the work to
In lieu of purely text-based emails and
adapt it will already be done.
chat threads, one idea is to encourage teams to record more messages via videos. Sharing these short clips can make the messages more personal. It may not seem like much, but providing more ways for co-workers to see and
#5. Give managers a path to remote coaching
hear each other can go a long way toward
With a primarily remote workforce, the
making everyone feel connected.
approach to day-to-day meetings also changes. For sales managers, this may
#4. Consider virtual sales events and kickoffs
impact the regular 1:1 meetings they have
While many companies are likely past
Still, even under normal circumstances,
their annual kickoff events, some are held
it’s not unusual for coaching to take a
later, quarterly, or even multiple times
backseat. With that in mind, providing
per year. As with onboarding classes,
managers with a virtual way to not only
now is a good time to think about what
continuously coach, but do so more
a virtual sales event might look like.
effectively, can be really valuable.
The technology is out there to support
Coaching technology is an option here.
such an event, so it really comes down
If a rep is across the country working
to asking yourself questions that will
the phones, it can be challenging to
dictate what your requirements would be:
ensure they are saying the right things
with their individual team members – a prime opportunity for coaching and performance improvements.
to clients. Online coaching activities •
ensure adoption, it will be important to clearly state and reinforce that this
presentations and how do we enable our speakers to create them easily?
Will the event presentations be delivered live or on demand (or both)? What will be the format be for the
with video give both sales managers and enablement leaders a simpler way to see and hear if reps are prepared to deliver key messages beforehand.
SEEN & HEARD
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SALES ENABLEMENT NEXT HIRE As more organizations establish sales enablement functions, there’s a rising need for talented practitioners. But finding the right sales enablement leader can be tricky. Here are 4 interview questions to ask to determine who is (and isn’t) a good fit for your organization.
Describe the sales enablement program or initiative you’re most proud of. How did you make it successful?
How did you align sales enablement metrics with company/team goals?
Describe a time when you were asked to shift priorities. How did you handle the situation?
Integrating teams with different sales cultures can make it tough to change rep behavior. Ensure that both sides have input when defining the skills and behaviors reps need to execute the new strategy and incorporate best practices from both sides into your training and coaching efforts.
Look for evidence that candidates could show ROI for programs they executed at previous companies. For example, if revamping sales onboarding was a priority for the interviewee’s last employer, did they demonstrate success by measuring the program’s impact on time productivity for new hires, or training costs?
Your next sales enablement pro needs to work well with peers, but also with leadership. Listen for plausible examples that show the ability to adapt on the fly, as well as a willingness to engage in healthy debate when needed. What matters is knowing how well they respond to potential conflict.
About Brainshark Brainshark’s data-driven sales readiness platform provides the tools to prepare client-facing teams with the knowledge and skills they need to perform at the highest level. With best-of-breed solutions for training and coaching, as well as cutting-edge insights into sales performance, customers can ensure their sales reps are always ready to make the most of any selling situation. With Brainshark, companies can: enable sales teams with on-demand training that
accelerates onboarding and keeps reps up-to-speed; validate readiness with sales
Have you developed a sales enablement charter? Describe the process/approach.
coaching and practice that ensures reps master your message; empower teams with dynamic content that can be created quickly, updated easily, and accessed anywhere; and use powerful scorecards to visualize sales
If you’re hiring for a leadership position, you need someone who can think strategically and gain buy-in from key executives. Look for key elements in how they describe their charter, such as services provided (e.g. coaching) and how enablement success will be measured.
performance trends and make real connections from improved readiness to increased revenue. Thousands of customers – including more than half of the Fortune 100 – rely on Brainshark to close performance gaps and get better results from their sales enablement initiatives. Learn more at: www.brainshark.com.
Sales Enablement Magazine, Established 2017, Brainshark Inc.